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sniktawk Apr 25th, 2008 09:54 PM

Elephant Back Safaris
For those like me who detest these operations, here is some good news,

sniktawk Apr 25th, 2008 10:02 PM

Here is another link to the actual regulations,, this also contains rules for culling.

atravelynn Apr 26th, 2008 12:04 PM

That's good. A victory for elephants.

I bet most people that go on these rides do not think the elephants were captured and removed from their environment and herd as youngsters.

Aren't there some elephant encounter setups that use only rescued elephants? Such as those that have been orphaned due to poachers or where a mother has died in a snare or something? Or injured eles that would have died in nature and have been nursed back to health?

Or is this just propaganda?

I know if I did some research on each of these places, I'd get some info. Whether it is entirely accurate or not is another thing. Maybe I will, but in the meantime I'll just pose that question to anybody who has already done the research.

lifelist Apr 26th, 2008 11:50 PM

From Abu Camp's website, the elephants they use in their elephant-backed safaris all are orphans, nuisance elephants that were re-located, or were taken from zoos/circuses. They've also released some elephants back into the wild. I think the elephants were the subject of a book and movie, as well.

Haven't done any research beyond that.

sniktawk Apr 27th, 2008 12:47 AM

These regulations only apply to South Africa.
As for Abu they would say that wouldnt they.
At least South Africa is doing something to prevent this totally unnatural behaviour.

sniktawk Apr 27th, 2008 11:44 PM

Given the almost total lack of response to this thread I presume not many people have any interest in the welfare of Elephants. Unless of course it is some sensational piece of nonsense about culling in Kruger.

Chagall Apr 28th, 2008 02:30 AM

Hello, I'm not new to the site, but rather new to posting. I just wanted to add something to this thread. I was very much involved with Abu Camp for a very long time. I can tell you that the original elephants that were brought over from the US (from zoos and circuses) in the late 80s by Randall Moore were set free, released back into the wild some years ago, after a lifetime of captivity. That is just two of them - the other, Tshombe, sadly died of salmonella poisoning. Durga and Owalla are to this day enjoying their freedom in the Pilanesburg in SA, both are matriarchs of their own herds. The next elephants that Randall brought back in the early 90s (also taken from US zoos and circuses) moved with him to Botswana, where he set up his Elephant Back Safaris. From there, he took on orphans from the Kruger cull, unwanted elephants, nuisance elephants who would otherwise have been shot, and they all joined the herd at Abu. From then on, it was always the aim to set them free. However, it took many years of negotiating with the Botswana Government and relevant departments before this could be realised...of course setting semi-tame elephants loose into a wildlife area is not something that can just be done overnight or without a lot of thought. But in early 2000 permission was finally received, and the first elephant - a youngster, Mufunyani - was set free. Several others have now followed - they all wear satellite tracking collars, and a research project has been set up around their release to study their behaviour, and their movements. Over 5 years, 5 elephants from the Abu herd have been released back into the wild with the cooperation of the Department of Wildlife. The project, backed by the University of Bristol, and the Harry Oppenheimer research centre continues to this day and has been a great success. When I was last in Botswana, a couple years ago, I was lucky enough to go up with the pilot who does the tracking of the released elephants on a weekly basis. We flew over Benny, old floppy-eared, scared of his own shadow, Benny - who Randall had taken from decades of living in a concrete cell that only enabled him to walk two steps forward, two back. There he was below us, as we circled above him. He was nonchalantly munching on some mopane, he was free, he was no longer scared, and he lived the remaining short time of his life as a free elephant. Hope that helps to shed some light.

scootr29 Apr 28th, 2008 10:57 AM

My wife and I went to Camp Jabulani last October.

I for one enjoyed the opportunity to ride an elephant. Did I feel comfortable doing it? No. Would I do it again? No. Do I feel the animals or exploited and abused? No. The elephants at Camp Jabulani have a unique background in that they were taken from Zimbabwe because of the gov't issues. I believe that the owner of Camp Jabulani is sincere and has a love of animals that exceeds most people. In all honestly I feel more uncomfortable seeing the elephants caged at my local zoo than I did riding elephants in Africa.

Sniktawk is not a good thing to presume what others think. I would not comment unless I have experienced elephant back safaris firsthand. I had that opportunity and I clearly state my thoughts above.


pippa13 Apr 28th, 2008 11:38 AM

i happily agree and i am extremly welcoming your posts.

pippa13 Apr 28th, 2008 11:46 AM

@ scott
i couldn't disagree more regarding your point that judging EBS can only be done baswed on the fact that one has done it.
alll the cruelty involved in most of the places are so obvious that riding an elephant would not add to the conclusion that these activities - as lion walks e.g. - are unethical!

the present jabulani elis come from zim - that's true (hopefully as i have heart the same when i met the sales rep). but in case the demand is growing and the number of elis decreasing i doubt they stick with the ethics.
it's simply too much money involved and tempting.
also the fact that jabulani is on the kapama ground doesn't offer a good feeling to me as kapama treats its cheetahs very badly. but this is another story....

sniktawk Apr 28th, 2008 08:58 PM

OK are we back to that you have to try something before you can criticise it.

I must go out and shoot someone then it is OK for me to say murder is bad.

How is it that you know what I do on safari.

Given your position I presume that you think the new regulations in SA are a bad thing. I am sure IFAW will be most upset.

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